Kim Jong-Nam

Kim Jong-Nam

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been killed in Malaysia. Kim Jong-nam was reportedly poisoned at Kuala Lumpur airport by female North Korean operatives with poisoned needles. Malaysian police said the 46-year-old dead man was travelling on a passport under the name Kim Chol. Kim Jong-nam has been known to travel using a fake name.

Who killed the half-brother of Kim Jong-un?

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been killed in Malaysia. Kim Jong-nam was reportedly poisoned at Kuala Lumpur airport by female North Korean operatives with poisoned needles. Malaysian police said the 46-year-old dead man was travelling on a passport under the name Kim Chol. Kim Jong-nam has been known to travel using a fake name.

The Relationship

Kim Jong-nam and Kim Jong-un are both sons of former leader Kim Jong-il, who died in late 2011, but they had different mothers. Kim Jong-nam was bypassed by his younger brother Kim Jong-un for succession in 2011. A botched attempt to secretly enter Japan using a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland in 2001 apparently earned Kim Jong-nam his father’s wrath. The incident caused his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un to be named heir.

Analysis

Neither has the motive for the crime been revealed nor have the attackers been identified. Kim Jong-Nam is known to be a gambling enthusiast. Could his gambling have anything to do with his death? Malaysia has close relations with North Korea and citizens can visit each other, without visas. Did someone want to jeopardise this relationship?

Assessment

It is still not clear as to who murdered Kim Jong-nam. Though the media was quick to blame the North Korean establishment, prima facie, Kim Jong-un is the established leader of North Korea and neither was Kim jong-nam a threat. However, the unpredictable and isolated North Korean establishment is an easy target to pin the blame. 

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